Eating Nuts May Boost Male Fertility

07 July, 2018, 13:56 | Author: Lillian Steele

Other recent studies have linked improvements in sperm quality to diets rich in polyunsaturated fats such as omega-3, antioxidants including vitamins C and E, selenium and zinc, and folate, all of which are abundant in nuts.

A new study has found eating two handfuls of nuts a day could improve men's sperm counts.

Salas-Huetos presented the work at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Barcelona this week.

Scientists made the claim after conducting a randomised trial which measured conventional semen parameters and molecular changes over 14 weeks. For example, it is unclear what the subjects' regular "western-style diet" actually consisted of. And about 40-50% of infertility cases are related to problems in men.

Allan Pacey, professor of andrology at the University of Sheffield, who was not involved in the research, said it was also possible that men in the nut group might have made other positive changes to their lives not taken into account by the study. The results showed a 16 percent improvement in sperm count and a four percent improvement in sperm vitality.

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Nuts are dense foods containing numerous nutrients and other phytochemicals. Sperm as well as blood samples were tested for the participants.

But lead researcher Dr Albert Salas-Huetos, from the University Rovira i Virgili in Reus, said: "Evidence is accumulating in the literature that healthy lifestyle changes such as following a healthy dietary pattern might help conception - and of course, nuts are a key component of a Mediterranean healthy diet".

Drawbacks to the study include that all the men were healthy, apparently fertile and eating a specific diet, Dr. Sala-Huetos noted, and that results should not be applied to the total population.

As well as improvements in sperm count and shape, the researchers examined the quality of DNA inside the sperm. Indeed, it was this change in the level of DNA fragmentation in the sperm cells that the investigators explained, at least in part, the improvement in sperm count, motility and morphology. Moreover, the subjects in the nut group also showed a significant reduction in their levels of sperm DNA fragmentation, a parameter closely associated with male infertility. Not yet, said Salas-Huetos. A handful of nuts every day will go a long way in improving male fertility.

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